Nurse with ADHD 🙋🏼‍♀️

#1

Hello :grin: Any other fellow nurses or people in healthcare who have ADHD? What’s your experience been like/what strategies do you use to be at your best in a job that doesn’t allow much room for error?

I’m a 20 year old new RN who was recently diagnosed with inattentive type and put on Adderall. With meds and strategies from Jessica’s videos, my life has changed so much for the better over the past few weeks. I feel so much less stressed that I’m going to forget something important and I’ve been able to switch to a med/surg+step down adaptable floor that is much more conducive to my brain at this point in my career/life. It’s interesting enough to keep my brain engaged but also pretty structured in terms of what a “typical” shift looks like. And because some of the patients are step down, usually I won’t get more than five, even on nights, which is way better for me than say, eight patients in terms of the overwhelment factor I can sometimes get with my ADHD.

I’ve found that making lists in different color pens and always asking “why” when I’m assessing my patients or giving them meds has helped me play to the strengths of having ADHD and I’ve been able to go from being an ok but sometimes struggling nurse to an AWESOME confident nurse on my new floor :raised_hands:t2::grin:

My only regret is that I wish I’d been diagnosed sooner…even though I was considered one of the “smart” people in my class, I never felt that way. I always felt like there was something wrong with me which led to a lot of anxiety and depression in high school and into college. I probably wouldn’t have made it through nursing school without my study groups and all the clinical paperwork was always a bear. It’s like I knew what was going on but couldn’t always write it out correctly the way they wanted it or manage my time effectively. It would’ve made nursing school, clinicals, and starting my first RN job a heck of a lot easier if I’d had the diagnosis/meds. But I guess the past is in the past :woman_shrugging:t3::sweat_smile:

Anyone else feel like their potential got a little more unlocked after their diagnosis and treatment? I feel like I finally have answers after years of either failing or feeling like a failure (Jessica’s video on failure literally had me tearing up :sob:) and now I can move forward understanding why I am the way I am and how to help it :tipping_hand_woman:t3: I haven’t found a lot on the interwebs about nurses with ADHD though, so I’d love to connect if you’re out there!

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#2

Hi, and welcome to the Tribe!:grin:

Not a nurse myself, but my mom is, hat’s off to all you guys!:clap::heart:

But yeah, colour-coding schedules and planners is a definite win!

I suspect my mom might have a bit of ADHD too, to be honest. She usually works nights (neuro int), but works a few days a month in the emergency room of a not-too-busy local hospital, specifically to get challenged and energized about nursing again, to not let things get too boring and stale.

And from years of habit, she’s now one of the ‘grumpy old nurses’ who cares about the patients, the relatives, and gives the younger nurses (and sometimes a doctor or two) shit for doing stupid shit, or not doing their job properly.:sweat_smile: Like when she’s turning over a 110kg/250lb patient, and two young colleagues are sitting playing Candy Crush in the same room, ‘monitoring’ their patients… My mom’s over 60, 160cm/5’4"… That kind of behaviour (or rather, lack of bwhaviour) is grating, so she gets pretty pissed sometimes…:sweat_smile: Once, two of the males even played chess with eachother, neither tending much to their patients…:open_mouth:

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#3

I’m not a nurse, I don’t even play one on TV. But I do work in a safety sensitive environment where bad decisions end lives. And before my current career, my previous career was one where bad decisions would end with a smoking crater.

It’s hard. No two ways about it.

As far as strategies go, all I can do is remind myself of the consequences of sloppy work practices. If I’m lucky, the risks will register with my motivation gland, and I’ll get a little of the hyperfocus kicking in.

But otherwise, it just reminds me that I have to be mindful, and provide my own motivation. That may be as simple as getting into the routine of reminding myself of the consequences of an accident. Being aware that a bad decision, or a lazy moment can have repercussions.

And coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. You are lucky, in as much as you have the equipment and knowledge to be able to administer it to yourself intravenously.

Welcome to the tribe!

That’s it. Play to your strengths, and minimise your weaknesses. That’s where effective teamwork can be a huge assist, but so often falls down when other team members fail to see the benefits of having access to a wide variety of talents and skills.

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